Posts Tagged ‘website’

Website down

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: ,
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Yesterday I went to check on my site here to find it was disabled. Cue minor freak out.

I logged in to JustHost, my provider, and found that the issue is I have too many files. Apparently there’s a 200,000 limit for my type of account. About 150,000 of them were sitting in my various email accounts. I figured it’d be simple enough to delete all those messages since I have them forwarded to another email client anyway.

Well, I should have known that things wouldn’t be so straightforward. It took me forever to get around to figuring out that I wasn’t logging in to the correct email account. Yet even when I managed to delete all those messages, my file count did not change. Seems like there’s quite a lag in when that number gets updated.

My site got restored just minutes ago, so if you tried to visit before and got an error, you know why. I need to keep track of this situation for the future so I don’t have downtime again! Because of this debacle, I haven’t been able to get in to edit posts, but hopefully I’ll have a spring break update soon. 🙂

Site issues

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
0

Two nights ago I got a 500 error on my site (internal servers down). Last time this happened I kind of freaked out and did a ton of troubleshooting, only to find that if I had just given it an hour or two it would be fine. So, lesson learned! I decided to go to bed and the next morning everything was fine. Buuut this time my site wouldn’t load at all! I gave it some time again before going to my web host’s site to try to contact them.

server timed out error message

screenshot of facebook announcement that justhost's servers were downAs it turns out, all their sites were down. Looks like the entire set of servers they use got messed up somehow. After trying to search for answers, I decided to find them on Facebook and discovered that they’d posted a message about the outage. I’m curious though, what they were doing for the past 8 hours… my best guess is that the maintenance was automated and routine, so they might not have caught the issue until they got to work this morning. Or, maybe it really takes that long for them to fix an issue this large. I mean, even all their sites were down so it looks like every single part of their network was kaput.

This does explain another question I had: why I hadn’t received emails since 4 AM EST. Since I use an email with my domain name, no incoming messages were making it. I wonder if I’ll be able to recover those emails when the servers are back up or if they’ve been lost in web wilderness forever. Hopefully nothing important was supposed to reach me at that time! My site is back up for now, but I’m still not sure if it’s all clear since it was up a little earlier and then wouldn’t load again. I hate this feeling of uncertainty! I should probably look into backing up my site on another server just in case.

Once things look resolved, I’m going to reach out to JustHost to complain if they don’t automatically offer some sort of compensation for this. A ton of people commenting on their Facebook page think similarly and I’m just glad I don’t need my site to make money, or else I’d be much more upset too! This kind of interruption of business is not good.

What would you do if your servers were down for nearly half a day?

365great Day 98: nomorerack

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,
0

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 98: nomoreracknomorerack* is a fantastic site that allows you to browse deals on a variety of products at discounted prices. It’s sort of like going to a swap meet, where you can find a combination of brand name and no-name products to fit your needs. Everything as far as I’ve seen is a good quality and I’ve certainly been satisfied with the performance and price of the products I bought. I love the diversity of things you’ll find, many of which are highly relevant to current trends. This spans across clothing, jewelry, technology, and more. You can get just about anything you’d want for general life needs and even some more specific fashion, home decor, or technology trends. I’m glad I found out about this site, though it has definitely been a test for my willpower. There are so many things I’d like to buy!! Check it out for yourself and let me know before you sign up so I can send you a referral email that will give both of us a $10 credit to use on the site! Certain terms apply, which I believe are that you must have an order minimum of $30. Still, the deals on this site are pretty great and definitely worth exploring!

 

*referral link

Powerbank backup battery & USB noodle chargers review

laelene Posted in reviews,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
3

I’ve been using these two sets of products for the past two weeks or so and I can finally go out for the day without a single worry about how long my phone might last and when (not even if) it will die on me. You see, whenever I went out and needed to use navigation, the camera, and some other apps, my iPhone battery would quickly drain. At best I’d get about 4 hours of use out of it. Certainly not enough for a full day out, where I’m trying to get places and take pictures/videos and maybe play some games too.

iphone charging accessories including purple car charger, wall plug, flat noodle cable, and powerbank backup batteryWhen Panda showed me a deal on this site called nomorerack*, I was intrigued. The site looked legit enough and the prices were excellent. I figured for about $30 it was worth the risk to order them to try out. I decided on the Powerbank 5600mAh Cell Phone Battery Backup Emergency Power Source to recharge my battery on the go and the 3-pack 8-pin to USB noodle cable set for iPhone 5 to connect to a car or building’s power source. This way I could charge up in the car while driving, but I could also have an external battery source when I couldn’t just plug in somewhere. It has freed up my phone usage so much and I can now wear out my phone however I please! I never have to worry whether my phone can last the day anymore.

Powerbank 5600mAh Cell Phone Battery Backup Emergency Power Source

The external battery was something I had been considering, so when Panda saw a deal for it, he sent me the link and I began to explore what nomorerack had to offer. At first I was looking at the 2600mAh models, which are about the size of a tube of lipstick. Upon doing some research, I found that 2600mAh is about enough to charge up my phone once over, but when you factor in some of the energy lost in conversion, I feared I’d only get a 75% charge out of it. Better than nothing, but not good enough. So, I opted for the 5600mAh one that could charge my phone twice over, or maybe a little bit less than that. At the least I was sure I could get one full charge out of it. The size is still very compact and really doesn’t make much difference to me compared to a lipstick-sized one.

So far I’ve been able to consistently get 1.5 charges from it, but I’m hoping that a few more uses will help maximize the performance to just about two charges. Even if it doesn’t improve, I am very happy with having that extra charge because it actually extends the time my phone can be used beyond just twice as long. So let’s say I’m out all day and my phone dies after 3 hours of use. Usually, that would have been it for me, unless I could tether myself to a wall outlet for an hour. Well now I can use my Powerbank to charge back up over the course of an hour and a half or so, during which I can be using my phone. Then it can last me another 3-4 hours, totaling 7.5-8.5 hours! At that point, if I’m still out, I can charge it for another 30-45 minutes and use it for maybe one more hour after that. That’s a good 9-10 hours compared to the 3-4 I was getting before. Awesome!

3-pack 8-pin to USB noodle cable set for iPhone 5

Then there’s the 3-piece set of charging accessories I have. I had gotten a very cheap car charger before, only to find that it got rejected by my iPhone. I was afraid that might happen with this one as well, but so far so good. That means that whenever I’m in a car I definitely have a power source to charge up my phone. Also, I absolutely love the flat noodle cable. My original cable was getting kind of beat up and this different design looked like it might be more effective against the bending pressures put upon it when plugged in. I love how it rolls up a lot easier than the round cables and is less likely to tangle. What a great design! And finally, I have an extra USB plug charger head to use for charging my phone and the Powerbank. To top it all off, I got this set in my favorite color!

As you can tell, I am very pleased with both these purchases. If you struggle with the battery power your portable devices, I’d definitely recommend getting either or both of these sets of accessories. It frees you up to spend the entire day out and about as you please! On a similar note, nomorerack offers a ton of awesome products and I would definitely recommend buying from them if you’re in the market! Excellent quality and performance on the products at highly discounted prices. In fact, nomorerack will be making an appearance later as the 365great of the day. 🙂

 

*referral link – if you’re interested in signing up, send me your email and you can get a $10 credit to use (I believe the order minimum is $30)

365great Day 45: Gogobot

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,
0

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 45: gogobotAfter an awesome day out the Gogobot way, I just had to make them today’s 365great. Not only are they an amazingly useful website where you can get travel advice and read user reviews, they are a vibrant community of fantastic folks. Plus, the company generously rewards those who contribute to the site, whether it’s with great events like the one today, or super cool swag throughout your interactions. It’s such a fun place to share your reviews of places and ask for suggestions to your travel questions. The people who contribute to Gogobot are so chill and just the kind of people you’d want to hang out with. What’s not to love? Everything they do is great!

How to: Make and Use A Favicon

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , , , ,
1

[You can skip to the step-by-step if you’re in a hurry.]

One of my mini-obsessions when it comes building and maintaining your own website (including a blog, e-commerce store, or what have you) is having a personalized favicon. If you don’t know what a favicon is, it’s that little square image that you see on the tabs of your browser, as shown below.

line of open tabs showing various favicons in browser

The first three are my sites, which you can see each have their unique image. While they may not be the best, at least it separates me from the crowd and I don’t get the ugly paper shown on the far right. That’s what many browsers use as a placeholder for sites with no favicon. Some look better, some look worse, but you get the idea – it says nothing about YOUR site.

I tend to have a ton of tabs open at a time, so that the only thing I can see about a tab is the favicon. This becomes an important way for me to identify which tab I want to go to. I can easily spot, say Facebook, and open up that tab without guessing which one is the right one. It’s a simple step for branding that many smaller sites don’t take advantage of.

So here’s what you do:

1. Choose an image (or images) you want to use. You might want to test a few images to see which you like best. The image has to be cropped to a square and it can be your logo, your profile pic, or whatever you feel best represents your brand/website at a glance. Bloggers, it’s probably best for this to also be your avatar image when you post comments on other sites. The consistency in visual branding can only help.

2. Use a tool like HTML -Kit’s FavIcon Generator. You can upload the picture from your computer or even pull from your Twitter account’s profile pic. Then click Generate FavIcon.ico and be patient! It may take up to a minute to upload your picture and process it. If you do not upload a square image, the tool will automatically crop your picture.

non-square image gets cropped into square to generate favicon on htmlkit.com

My picture got cropped to a square and my feet were cut off in this example.

3. Download your favicon package if you’re satisfied. If not, you can upload another image until you find one you like. The HTML -Kit FavIcon Generator shows you the still and animated versions of your favicon in a browser image. You can actually click on those images to get a live preview in your own browser.

4. Open the .zip file and unzip or extract the files. You can choose to use the still or animated file. The animated  file is a .gif and the still file is a .ico. There’s also a ReadMe.txt included, with instructions on how to install your new favicon of choice. You can read that or continue with this post!

5. Now log in to your web provider (I use JustHost, many of you probably use GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, etc.) and open up the File Manager. You want to go to the Root Directory of your site. If you have multiple sites, make sure you to go the correct one!

6. Upload your favicon to the Root Directory. Choose whichever one tickles your fancy, but I’d recommend the static .ico one since animated ones can appear unprofessional.

7. Add the following code to the header section of your HTML code (in between the <head> and </head> tags):

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”favicon.ico” >

For the animated favicon, you’re going to add some extra code:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”favicon.ico” >
<link rel=”icon” type=”image/gif” href=”animated_favicon1.gif” >

8. That’s it! Refresh your page (sometimes you need a “hard” refresh by pressing Ctrl+F5 or sometimes you need to clear your cookies, maybe even close your browser or try a different one) and voila, your favicon has been updated and now represents you. 🙂

365great Day 15: Daily Grommet

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,
1

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 15: daily grommetDaily Grommet has been an excellent source of discovery for me! They consistently introduce fabulous products, ranging from sugru (which I am itching to get my hands on) to Squishables, which was featured earlier on 365great! When it comes to curated content for those looking for unique, often eco-friendly products, this is the place to be. If you are ever out of ideas for gifting, check out their recommendations – I guarantee you’ll find something cool.

Products range from practical to whimsical, from kitchenware to clothing, and so much more. Usually you’ll find a clever solution to common problems or something beautifully and elegantly designed. Each one has a compelling story, which is how they get chosen. I really can’t even begin to describe all the awesomeness you’ll encounter there, so I think the best thing to do is go browse yourself! Or hey, browse my own personal favorites here on my wishlist. I’m sure you’ll come across something great.

365great Day 3: TED.com

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,
1

Learn more about 365great here.

Do you thirst for knowledge? TED.com is a great place to satisfy that urge. If you’re not familiar, TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” and it started off as a conference, but has evolved into so much more. Initially the conference brought together people across those three fields, but now it has grown into many branch-off conferences and best of all (in my opinion), the website. It’s like YouTube for curious minds who want the latest knowledge from forward-thinkers.

365great challenge day 3: ted.com

Watch ideas worth spreading at TED.com!


What I love about TED.com in particular is that it allows access to talks from leaders in their fields. Most people will never get the chance to attend a conference of this caliber (or maybe even any conference at all) so this is a great way to share, as they put it: ideas worth spreading. There are some truly inspirational, informative, and innovative ideas shared in this forum and everyone should spend some time watching the videos. In my never-ending quest for knowledge, TED stands out as an excellent resource. The fact that they offer so much valuable information for free, well that’s what I find great.

Hosting scare

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
0

Whew! I got an email this morning telling me account was deactivated due to malware or a virus, which made me freak out a little bit.  I reviewed the email and thought that it wanted me to delete a file called “malware.txt” but as it turns out, that’s the file outlining which files might be affected.  Oops!  I called up my hosting company, JustHost (which used to be Super Green Hosting but was bought out by JH), and they re-generated the file for me.

This time I opened it up and reviewed the listed files… they were all WordPress themes or plugins, most of which were inactive anyway, so I deleted all but one plugin.  I carefully checked the PHP code for that lone plugin and determined that there was nothing suspicious.  This time when I called up JustHost, they were able to reactivate the account for me.  What a relief!

Just for precaution, I updated the password for my WordPress account to something more secure, so hopefully that will stave off future hackers.

My own domain: a gift to myself

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
0

I have, for a long time, wanted to claim my own domain name and have my blog hosted on there.  However, seeing as there aren’t really many people out there who would ever want to take my name from me, it didn’t feel justified to do so.  I became more and more interested lately, as I found that my dedication to my blog has not wavered and I got more involved in the online community.  Then I came across green hosting websites and that sealed the deal for me.  Cheap webhosting from energy efficient servers?  I’m in!  I chose Super Green Hosting for its great deal (it certainly helped that they were listed first on the list that I was reading and their website looks the nicest to me) and decided I’d wait until this month to sign up.

Why now?  I don’t really know.  And why do I need a website of my own?  Maybe I don’t.  In trying to justify this to anyone who doesn’t understand, I probably won’t come up with any answers.  All I know is that this is one of my deep heart desires.  One of those things that nags at you again and again, reminding you that you should do it.  There may not be a logical reason as to why I should get a website.  It’s not like I’m someone famous and well-followed or I’m trying to make money from the internet.  No, what I will say (and really the only thing I can say) is that it feels right, it makes me happy, and I’ll be darned if I don’t do that for myself at a mere $3.95 a month.  It’s a bit of peace of mind too, in knowing that this domain will belong to me and always be mine, whatever I may choose to do with it.  And hopefully one day I will be someone that people want to find and follow, so they will look for my domain.

Well, May 1st came along, the day I promised myself I would do this, and I spent the day out.  When I got back, I set out to order the service and begin building my new website.  Due to some snags, I wasn’t able to complete the order (and being out of the country only complicates things), so I had to wait.  After calling, “live chatting,” and e-mailing, I finally got too frustrated and needed a break from the process.  I spent all of today away from my e-mail and when I decided to check it, I found an e-mail confirming my order!  Apparently they’d been working as I put it aside, so everything was ready for me now.  I happily began the lengthy process to get used to their system, learn more about what having my own space means, and figuring out how to put a nice pretty blog there for people to find.

My CSS skills are sorely lacking, so much of my editing is done on a trial and error basis.  I was able to make all the edits I wanted except for one crucial one: allowing the header image to be bigger.  So, though I was able to lengthen the height and width of the area where the header is, the image just would not stretch to fit, no matter what I did.  Some of the tiling was quite visible on two of the sides, so I had to forfeit that idea and stick with a narrow look until I can find out how to fix that problem.  It certainly isn’t the image I’m using, since I cropped it to fit the dimensions I wanted.  There are also a couple of other issues that I am having with coding, so it has taken me a much longer time than usual to set this up.  I got spoiled with Weebly’s drag and drop method that required no technical skills of me.  Nonetheless, I am happy to have this now and I’m going to eventually look into having a professional help me out with a layout that I like.

So in the mean time, please excuse any and all errors that you find at maryqin.com.  It is still very much under construction.  Once that’s set up though, I anticipate only blogging through there, so do bookmark it and look for futher updates!  🙂

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